Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Short Story/Literary Fiction
Approximate word count: 5-6,000 words
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Randy Kadish’s writing has appeared in fly-fishing journals and magazines. His stories often combine his love of fishing with people struggling to do good while fighting their demons. He has a novel and an additional short story available for your Kindle. Kadish’s fishing tips and more information about his book and stories can be found on his website.
“Erik, a young boy, is proud that his father, the winner of several state championships, is probably the greatest long distance fly caster on earth. But then a threatening prelude and an unexpected outcome of a casting tournament leave Erik reeling with unanswered questions about what once seemed to be only a sport.
These questions linger and then, years later, deepen when Erik’s idealistic plans and actions are crushed when he experiences combat in the Vietnam War. He struggles, unsuccessfully, with his demons, until a seemingly accidental discovery lead him back to the ways and new meanings of fly casting. Through their prism Erik learns to see himself and the world in a forgiving light.”
When I reviewed Randy Kadish’s other short story, The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, I was lukewarm. Kadish had done so much right: getting me to like his characters, weaving an interesting story and drawing me in, yet when I finished I was left thinking I’d missed something. I didn’t get it.
The Second Fly Caster suffered no such problem. All the good I saw was still there, but I also intuitively understood the point of the story. One line jumped out near the end as the “heart” of the story. The note I made while reading it called it exactly that. Rather than quote that line (and maybe give too much away), I’ll say that the main lesson is one about competition, in any form, and how we should measure success. There are also some secondary lessons about parental relationships.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars